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A wordle of Mark's Gospel

I believe in Jesus

A wordle of Mark's Gospel

As usual at this time of year (and also other times of the year) I spot debates about how we are redeemed (“soteriology”). The debates can get heated. And do.

People can get pretty heated about theories of creation also.

I believe in the Creator; which means I believe we are created. I trust and entrust myself to my Creator.

How did God create everything? Well I accept the Big Bang and evolution – but my life won’t be too devastated if scientists come up with a better theory. How did God create me? Well, I’ve got a pretty good idea about that… I’d be a little more surprised if we’ve misunderstood that…

There’s lots of things I accept; and use. I might have a vague idea about how it works – but not really in detail. I don’t really know how this laptop I’m typing on works. I don’t imagine I could replicate this laptop even if I worked at it all my life and was given all the raw materials I asked for. I don’t really know how light works from the screen to my eye. I don’t really know how my eye works. I’ve got some vague ideas about these things; and I wouldn’t be surprised if some of my ideas are wrong.

If I don’t understand how these simple things work – I’m not too hassled I don’t quite understand how God works!

I believe in the Redeemer. I trust and entrust myself to my Redeemer.

There’s different theories about how we are redeemed. I’ve studied them academically, in a five year theology degree, from a reputable university. And longer. Some of the theories I personally find appalling, others I find appealing. Others find the appalling ones appealing. Some people take more literally things I take more metaphorically. Some people take more metaphorically things I take more literally. And I wouldn’t be surprised if some of my ideas are wrong.

But I don’t believe in my theory of redemption – I believe in my Redeemer. And I am not saved by my theory of redemption – I am saved by my Redeemer.

The image is a wordle I made of Mark’s Gospel

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6 thoughts on “I believe in Jesus”

  1. I am reminded of a lovely clip from a lecture by Metropolitan Kallistos (Ware), in which he compares the various soteriological models to the generous dinner menus on Cunard Liners:


    My 4-year-old daughter has been very preoccupied lately with questions about death (which she has only just discovered), and about Jesus’ death in particular (which she has been learning about in her wonderful Montessori-based Sunday school programme, “Catechesis of the Good Shepherd”).

    I said to my mother on the phone last night, “I’m almost finished a theology degree, and this is giving me problems.” She replied, “Imagine what it was like for me and your dad when you started asking at that age!” They’re veterinarians…

  2. In the book The Dream of the Earth, the author, Thomas Berry proposes that science is a wisdom tradition, whose wisdom informs us of the mechanisms of that creation. We have not mined all that it offers us by a long shot. And sometimes, new ore mined from the tradition, causes us to rewrite the story as we know it. There is much work still to do and we may never get the whole story.

  3. I hope everyone clicks on to Jesse’s link. The Metropolitan Kallistos Ware (a good friend of Thinking Anglicans) is worth watching and listening to. A very inclusive style of teaching, backed by a wealth of pastoral experience.

  4. Bosco,

    On the creation angle, I am amazed by the number of Christians, Darwinists & Dawkinists who stop at the Genesis 1 story of creation and go all rabid over it (one wonders if they get any further into the Bible). Meanwhile, in my experience, most Christians (myself included) are happy believing the second story of creation (Gen 2:4 – basically “God created everything”) It doesn’t say how, so I’ll go along with what ever science wants to tell me (and it is allowed to correct itself). Besides – why is “how” important? :0)

    On another note, in Genesis 1, replace “days” with “ages” and what you have is a _mostly_ accurate order of scientific events – which is impressive given how long ago it was written.

    Meanwhile the message I get from Genesis 1 is that if one day off in seven is good enough for God, it is good enough for us :0)

    Hopefully those ideas aren’t too wrong :0)


    1. Thanks, David, for your thoughts.

      I’m not sure that I want to start debating interpretations of the creation stories – the very core of my post was to allow variations in interpretation and to acknowledge that we/ I may be wrong.

      But I will risk responding…

      I’m not sure that I read Gen 2:4ff as you do that “it doesn’t say how”. I read the LORD God making from the dust of the ground and breathing into nostrils… I see this as an etiological (aetiological) tale which goes on to explain sexual desire, death and the return to the earth, the difficulties in work, the pain of childbirth,… We may mistake its genre, but a talking serpent is still a pretty good clue…

      As to replacing “day” Genesis 1 with “age”, I would have to be convinced of this being fair to the text: “And there was evening and there was morning, the first day… And there was evening and there was morning, the second day…” I’m also struggling to see its order as corresponding to our scientific understanding: light before the sun; a dome; with waters above it; vegetation: plants yielding seed, and fruit trees of every kind before the sun, the moon, and the stars…

      I prefer to not use this magnificent poem as a science text book. But, as I said, I might be wrong…


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